Category Archives: WEB DEVELOPMENT

[Rx] Creating a WordPress Undescores Starter Theme

2016-01-21_112522_crUnderscores is an online tool for creating a starter theme in WordPress.

It saves a lot of time because it inserts the name of the theme with an underscore in the variable names in a boilerplate theme. If you activate this theme, it’s just basic text and nothing else.

There’s still more to do to create a WP theme, but it certainly is better than rolling your own.

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[Rx] Local Web Development – Installing WordPress on UniServer

wp_02Uniform Server is an open source lightweight mobile WAMP server that I use as a local web development environment.  The version in this update is: 12.0.1_Zero XII. After UniServer, I installed the latest WordPress.

Here’s the problem. I go through and set something up, like the UniServer Dev Environment. It’s working beautifully. Then, a few months go by and there’s an update. Oh, goodie, I want the latest and greatest. What should be quick and easy ends up being a real pain. Well, it’s a pain because I didn’t document it the first time. Duh!

There were two tricky parts in setting this up. The first was a dependency on an x86 version of Visual C++ runtime on my x64 system and setting up the WP Config with those rip-your-hair-out  “Can’t Connect to Database Errors.”

Installing WordPress on UniServer


1a. Install Uniform Server Zero XII. Clicking on the executable asks for an install directory. For a normal install, you’re limited to the root (C:\). If you’re using my magic batch file, you can run it anywhere using start.bat. Otherwise, in the root directory launch with UniController.exe. Start Apache and MySQL by pushing the buttons.


Now, if you get an error message when you press the Apache button, you need to update the Visual Studio 2015 C++ Redistributable.


Here’s the crazy thing. I’m running on x64, but I had to install both x64 and x86 versions of the software. The downloads are on the same page.

1b. Turn off UniServer Nag for MySQL database password.

Go to home > us-config > us_config.ini

Change Nag_user=true to Nag_user=false

What this means is that the username for the SQL database is root and the password is blank or whatever you set it. In my case, it’s root (see 2b.).

1c. Change Default Port

My previous development environment was InstantWP. This used listening port: 4001
I think this had to do with security or something like that. Anyway, I decided to use this with UniServer too.

1. Turn off Apache in the Uniserver console.

2. Go to Apache > Edit Basic and Modules > Edit Basic Configuration

3. On Listen port change the default value (80) to 4001

4. Hit the Update Configuration button and you’re good to go.


PHP Extras.

In the UniServer Control Panel, PHP > Edit Basic and Modules > PHP Modules Enable/Disable, you might need to turn on some other modules for other CMS programs. These are some that I turn on:

  • php_curl
  • php_fileinfo
  • php_opensll



2a. Install WordPress.

1. Download the latest WordPress.

2. Inside the zip file, there is a directory called wordpress. Unzip this folder and put it into  UniserverZ > www


2b. Change the MySQL database password to root.

1. In the UniServer Panel, go to MySQL > Change MySQL Password

2. Enter root and press OK.


2c. Create wordpress database.

1.  In the UniServer Panel, press the Start MySQL button.

2. In the UniServer Panel, go to MySQL > Database create-delete

3. For the database name, enter wordpress and press Create Database

4. Press [ x ] to exit.


2d. Setup WP-Config.

1. Make sure both Apache and MySQL are running (green).

2. In the browser type:

3. Select Language and Continue.


4. Press Let’s go!


5. Enter Data.

Database Name: wordpress
User Name: root
Password: root
Database Host:


6. Press Submit

7. There should be a message that starts: “All right, sparky!”


8. Press Run the Install.

9. Enter in the Information.

Site Title: WordPress
Username: admin
Password: password (confirm weak password)


10. Press Install WordPress.

11. Login with admin and password.

That’s it! Now, the really neat thing is that the development environment  is now self-contained in the folder and you can do the WordPress updates without having to go through all this happy good stuff again. Add the Start.bat file, zip up the folders, and save it in a nice, safe place with a name that you might remember (UniServerZ_WP). Next time you want to play, unzip and it’s ready for some serious DevelopRx action.


Installing GetSimple CMS


Sometime long ago in this galaxy, not one far, far away,  I installed a LocalHost version of GetSimple CMS on Windows 7 XAMPP. 

GetSimple is an alternative to big SQL database-driven content management systems like WordPress. According to the site, GetSimple is an XML-based, standalone, fully independent and lite Content Management System. Without a database program, some of the security and complexity problems theoretically should go away. Plus, for smaller, less content-driven sites, there’s no need for the overhead.

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[Rx] Adobe Brackets Missing Icons on Buttons

200px-Brackets_Icon.svgThere’s a really interest open source text editor built for web design called Brackets []. I installed it and started playing around. There were buttons with no icons or text.

The problem seems to come from installing a development version of Inkscape [] that added a conflicting value in the registry for .svg vector graphic files.

The best bet would be to remove any old versions of Inkscape first and see if your problem is solved.

I fixed this by going into the WIN7 registry and searching for .svg in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and  deleting the “Content Type REG_SZ application/svg” entry. Now, this is the REGISTRY and you can screw up some things if you delete the wrong stuff.

After editing the Registry, I installed the latest version of Inkscape 0.91 without any problems with Brackets.

Skeleton – Small & Speedy without WordPress

Healthcare-Skull-iconI like car camping. I can pack 2.4 tons of gear in the family truckster and head off into the woods. Because of all the extra stuff, I tend to do the opposite of Robert Frost and take the paved road most travelled. BUT, sometimes it’s good to go with just the basics. I take only what I really need and can fit that extra kid in the car.

WordPress is like car camping. When you set up a WP site, you’ve got baggage, lots of baggage. Even worse, it’s not easy being lean.  That’s where Skeleton, a responsive boiler plate can really help out.  

Here are some forks that may be better supported:

With CCS pre-processor:


InstantWP–Change Default Browser

From the InstantWP FAQ:


How can I get Instant WordPress to open in a browser other than Internet Explorer, such as Firefox or Chrome?

Adjusting the setting in the IWP server config file in the IWP folder at:


You will find the line below setting the BrowserPath variable in the Browser section of the config file:

BrowserPath= ../system/InstantWP_GUI.exe

Change this to something like below, to the path of your browser:

BrowserPath= “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”

I set this up using Chromium (Open Source Chrome). The normal InstantWP control panel came under a tab instead of a separate window.